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Report: Ted Lilly, Jason Vargas among those to clear waivers

Aug 14, 2011, 7:07 PM EDT

Jason Vargas AP

Color me skeptical, but ESPN’s Buster Olney says all of the following starting pitchers have already cleared waivers and are eligible to be traded: Chris Capuano, Bruce Chen, Tom Gorzelanny, Ted Lilly, Rodrigo Lopez, Jason Vargas, Chien-Ming Wang and Carlos Zambrano.

It’s largely Vargas’ presence that causes me to question the list.  It’s very hard to believe no one would have put a claim in on a Mariners left-hander who has a 4.01 ERA this year, makes just $2.45 million this season and is under control through 2013.  Vargas owed much of his success last year to Safeco, but he actually has a 3.88 ERA in 10 road starts this season.  Common sense dictates that several teams would have put a claim in on him.

Capuano, Chen and Gorzelanny were also pretty claimable with their modest salaries and decent records this year.  Capuano is 9-10 with a 4.51 ERA for the Mets, Chen is 7-5 with a 4.15 ERA for the Royals and Gorzelanny is 2-6 with a 4.50 ERA for the Nationals.  Their salaries this year are $1.5 million, $2 million and $2.1 million, respectively, though Capuano and Chen do have incentives that would have increased a claiming team’s financial responsibilities.

The others did figure to slip through waivers.  Zambrano was a given.  Lilly, who is in the first year of a three-year, $33 million deal, is 7-12 with a 4.71 ERA.  Both Zambrano and Lilly have no-trade protection anyway and thus couldn’t have been given away on waivers without their permission.  Wang has allowed 12 runs — six earned — in 15 innings since returning from a two years off due to shoulder problems.  Lopez is 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA while splitting time between the rotation and the pen for the Cubs.

  1. derpdederpdederp - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    people still listen to Buster Olney? really?

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Olney also made it through waivers without anyone placing a claim.

  3. uyf1950 - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    I can see the follow up stories now. “Yankees trade for 8 pitchers who recently cleared Waivers” Sub-Title: They have now decided to go with a 14 man starting rotation. Additional information to follow.

  4. bloodysock - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Carlos Zambrano cleared waivers? I’m shocked!

  5. dailyrev - Aug 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    nothing to see here yet. Perhaps a little more attention to what’s happening on the field would do for now. Example: that injury to Marquis featured one of the strangest moments I have seen in 4 decades of watching this game regularly. Pitcher throws and plunks batter on leg; both go down like they were shot. turns out pitcher had thrown errant fastball because his plant leg had gotten caught after he’s been plunked himself by a comebacker an inning earlier. Apparently (still guessing here), the comebacker had fractured his leg, he didn’t know it, and came back to pitch and compounded the fracture by sticking his plant leg into the mound.

    • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:25 AM

      It will be written up tomorrow morning no doubt.

  6. 78mu - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    When a Jason Hayward or Starlin Castro or Carlos Gonzales gets through waivers let me know. The only reason big name players make it is the GM is trying to have someone else pay for their mistakes.

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